Aces Gerrit Cole and Stephen Strasburg will be the most sought after pitching free agents this offseason, and the New York Yankees will be among the interested teams, general manager Brian Cashman said Monday.
"Of course, we're going to talk to Strasburg. We'll talk to Cole. We'll talk to the higher-end guys, clearly, and have conversations, and we'll also talk about some surprise guys, I'm sure," Cashman told reporters at MLB's annual general manager meetings in Scottsdale, Arizona.
"Obviously, [both are] great, talented players that have earned so many accolades along the way -- and for good reason. They are some of the premier pitchers the game has seen at this time, so it's a good time to be them."
Cole, 29, just finished his second season with the Houston Astros, going 20-5 with a 2.50 ERA. He led the majors with 326 strikeouts and set an Astros record by winning his last 16 regular-season decisions.
Strasburg, 31, went 18-6 with a 3.32 ERA for the Washington Nationals and was named the World Series MVP. His 18 wins were a career best, and he led the National League with 209 innings pitched.
The Yankees were sixth in the American League in 2019 with a 4.31 ERA. They spent most of the season juggling their rotation with injuries to No. 1 starter Luis Severino and back-of-the-rotation left-hander Jordan Montgomery. Both are expected to be healthy next spring and join a rotation that could include Masahiro Tanaka, James Paxton, Domingo German and J.A. Happ.
"Starting pitching is always something that we want to try to continue to look at and shore up. With that said, we still have internal personnel that we're excited to get back in the fold as we move forward," Cashman said.
He added: "In the end, players like a Strasburg, players like a Gerrit Cole, they're going to make informed decisions that are in their best interest and in the best interest of their families and stuff like that. It's not as simple as going after it and pulling it down, it's a lot more than just that."